5 ways to spruce up (or start) your journal

Does your mind go blank when trying to write your life story? Do you need a little help making your journal mean something to you?

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  • A journal is the doorway into your mind, your personality, your heart. It is one sure way your posterity can really know who you are and what you believe. These books provide readers advice, humor, romance, sadness and suspense. They provide valuable pieces of information about yourself and your family members.

  • Despite the importance of these books, you may be one of hundreds of individuals who do not keep a journal. Perhaps, you don’t have the time, or you simply don’t know what to write.

  • Here are several ways you can beat writer's block and write a journal you can be proud of.

  • 1. Make it personal

  • Your journal is your own. It says something about who you are and what you find important in life. Make your journal fun. Make it personal. You don’t have to write a one-page entry each day. Every person has their own unique way of maintaining a journal. My journal is filled with weekly written entries. I take time every Sunday afternoon to write about the highlights of my week. In between those entries, my journal is filled with glued-in mementos. I have cards people sent me, tickets to concerts and movies. I also glue in pictures and postcards and anything else that means something to me.

  • You don’t have to glue things into your journal or write once a week. Be creative with your journal. Make it say something about you and what is important in your life.

  • 2. Be artistic

  • Who says your journal has to be filled with words? If you are an artistic individual, draw pictures and illustrations. Draw images about the people in your life. Draw about important events and things in life that you value. Additionally, don’t be afraid to doodle throughout your journal. Your drawings say something about who you are.

  • 3. Add lists of favorites

  • Instead of writing in story form, write down the information in lists. You can make lists of all your favorite things such as your favorite color, food or even season. You can also make lists of memories or experiences of your life. It doesn’t matter how you write, it only matters that you do.

  • 4. Scrapbook

  • A picture says a thousand words. Instead of writing about every event in your life — scrapbook them. Display your life story through photos. You can do this with physical pieces of paper or digitally. Just make sure to write about each picture. Explain about the event, who is in each picture, any funny or sad things that happened and more. Pictures can give the experiences even more meaning later in life.

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  • 5. Utilize technology

  • Use technology to make journal writing fun and easy. I’ve found that I’m a much faster typist than writer and so I type each entry, print it out and place the entry in a book. I also keep a digital copy that I plan to print in book form. You can also access many online programs that help you keep a journal and even provide writing prompts for those entries when you just don’t know what to write about.

  • Remember, journals are about your life. They tell your story. How do you want people to remember you?

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Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.

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